Consolidation, Bankruptcy, Take-Overs: Solar Industry Upheaval Continues
The upheaval and restructuring of the solar industry continues. The whirlwind that is the solar energy industry has claimed a host of new victims. It has been hard to keep track of factory closings, bankruptcies, restructurings. The sun may be shining brightly on some companies in the solar industry, but let's take a quick review of some of the most recent victims.
The company that owns Uni-Solar that has been synonymous with thin film panels in the United States filed for Chapter 11 last month, after having lost more than 90 percent of its market value last year. Remember that Chapter 11 does not mean liquidation and there may be some hope that Uni-Solar will survive. Earlier this month, it score a big order supplying a large Italian order. As reported in the mlive Michigan Local News, "The bankrupt corporate parent of United Solar Ovonic, or Uni-Solar, is planning to supply a large order of solar panels to an Italian building materials company." The article cites as the reason for Uni-Solar's decline "elimination of European subsidies" and "increased competition from less-expensive products."
You may remember Solon SE, the German solar panel manufacturer is also in bankruptcy proceedings. According to a press release, Arab Emirates-based solar- cell maker Microsol International is acquiring key assets of Solon, including U.S.-based Solon Corporation.
Tokyo Electron is buying Oerlikon Solar, a unit of Swiss conglomerate Oerlikon Corp AG, according to Reuters. Oerlikon Solar makes solar manufacturing equipment and sells to European and Chinese solar panel manufacturers.
The rest of the year should not be any less chaotic. According to the Huffington Post, industry analysts are predicting that "Solar panel manufacturers will have a hard time boosting revenues this year with Germany cutting government incentives at a time when the market is flush with supply."